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Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:17 AM

Does Elizabeth Warren's "wealth tax" proposal make her more electable or less electable?

Note: My question is not "Do you like Elizabeth Warren's 'wealth tax' proposal?"

My question is not "is a 'wealth tax' a good idea or a bad idea?"

My question is "Does Elizabeth Warren's 'wealth tax' proposal make her more or less likely to win the presidential election, if she's chosen as the Democratic candidate?"

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Reply Does Elizabeth Warren's "wealth tax" proposal make her more electable or less electable? (Original post)
Towlie Jan 2019 OP
vlyons Jan 2019 #1
Brainstormy Jan 2019 #2
safeinOhio Jan 2019 #3
BeyondGeography Jan 2019 #4
nycbos Jan 2019 #5
safeinOhio Jan 2019 #11
Cosmocat Jan 2019 #18
doompatrol39 Jan 2019 #6
exboyfil Jan 2019 #14
DBoon Jan 2019 #7
Wounded Bear Jan 2019 #8
rickford66 Jan 2019 #9
exboyfil Jan 2019 #13
Autumn Jan 2019 #15
rgbecker Jan 2019 #16
unblock Jan 2019 #19
kcr Jan 2019 #24
unblock Jan 2019 #32
Hassin Bin Sober Jan 2019 #35
unblock Jan 2019 #37
Hassin Bin Sober Jan 2019 #38
unblock Jan 2019 #39
Autumn Jan 2019 #29
unblock Jan 2019 #31
PDittie Jan 2019 #42
unblock Jan 2019 #44
PDittie Jan 2019 #45
unblock Jan 2019 #56
exboyfil Jan 2019 #10
Luciferous Jan 2019 #12
SweetieD Jan 2019 #17
doompatrol39 Jan 2019 #20
Towlie Jan 2019 #21
BeyondGeography Jan 2019 #22
Recursion Jan 2019 #23
EllieBC Jan 2019 #28
jalan48 Jan 2019 #25
lark Jan 2019 #26
EllieBC Jan 2019 #27
Towlie Jan 2019 #40
Bleacher Creature Jan 2019 #30
PoindexterOglethorpe Jan 2019 #33
Bayard Jan 2019 #34
peggysue2 Jan 2019 #36
DFW Jan 2019 #41
DeminPennswoods Jan 2019 #43
karynnj Jan 2019 #46
Hermit-The-Prog Jan 2019 #47
Crunchy Frog Jan 2019 #48
LiberalFighter Jan 2019 #49
lagomorph777 Jan 2019 #50
guillaumeb Jan 2019 #51
Eliot Rosewater Jan 2019 #52
democratisphere Jan 2019 #53
shanny Jan 2019 #54
oberliner Jan 2019 #55
Celerity Jan 2019 #57
questionseverything Jan 2019 #58
KWR65 Jan 2019 #59

Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:18 AM

1. more

and she has my vote

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:19 AM

2. MORE. n/t

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:21 AM

3. Her Wealth Tax swings me over.

Screw income, tax the rich and their wealth.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:27 AM

4. More...If it makes her less electable then we are well and truly fucked anyway

Two percent on those with assets worth $50 million or more up to $1 billion, then the rate is 3 percent. Applies to less than 0.1 percent of the population.

Great idea, plus she has the guts and the smarts to sell it.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:27 AM

5. It all depends on how it is packaged and sold.

For instance "gun safety" and "back ground checks" poll better than "gun control."


I think "medicare for all" polls better than "single payer"


For a while there was a difference in polling when the terms "marriage equality and "gay marriage were used"


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Response to nycbos (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:43 AM

11. I always thought we should ask for

States to pass Right to Vote laws. Worked for framing right to work laws.

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Response to nycbos (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:59 AM

18. And, she can't back down from it

I doubt she will, she believes in it, and is savvy enough to know that she can't back off now that she said it.

But, she has to own it and not equivocate on it now.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:28 AM

6. As long as she can defend it in clear and unequivocal terms, I say more...

 

....also too, as long as she doesn't have too many Very Serious Democrats™ undermining her along the way or clutching their pearls. A move that bold will require a full court press and party unity. If we can swing that, then I think it makes her more electable not less. I think too many in the media and ostensibly on "our side" underestimate the level of anger at income inequality.

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Response to doompatrol39 (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:49 AM

14. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett are wealthier than poorest half of US

I would like to see how much these three may in total federal taxes when compared to the bottom 50%.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:33 AM

7. Wealthy right wing billionaires will try to destroy her over it

but they will try to destroy her anyway, so no issue

There is enough anger left over from the 2008 crash and bailout that it will work for her advantage

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:36 AM

8. More, for me...

it's something I've been proposing for a while.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:39 AM

9. Who would it apply to ?

US citizens anywhere in the world and legal US residents probably. What about those working here on visas ? Would citizens have to give up citizenship to avoid the tax ? Lots of questions just to inventory their wealth. I like the idea and if anyone can make it work, Warren can.

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:46 AM

13. Really good question about the practicality

We often don't tax what makes sense to tax, but we tax what is easy to tax (say hello to the wage slaves and their with holdings).

At the end of the day the only thing the US offers the capitalists is access to our markets and the protections associated with being a US citizen. Also being able to move freely in the country to live, vacation, and to visit family and friends.

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:56 AM

15. It only applies to households with a net worth above $50 million and the tax is on

all dollars above that $50 million. An additional 1 percent surtax would kick in above $1 billion in income net worth.

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:57 AM

16. Read this article. It addresses many of these questions.

https://theintercept.com/2019/01/24/elizabeth-warren-proposes-annual-wealth-tax-on-ultra-millionaires/?menu=1

Elizabeth Warren is capable of making this issue a plus for our party. She is clear, straight forward and on target. We'll never see such a bold proposal from some of the other current democratic presidential candidates. A candidate that tries to play the middle, unless they can bring some magical charisma will not bring home a Democratic win.

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 11:03 AM

19. it won't apply to anyone, because it's unconstitutional.

and we won't be able to amend the constitution to permit it, at least i can't see it happening in the next 30 years.

the income tax needed its own amendment for similar reasons.


i think it's a good idea, in theory, but i don't see it happening at all.

stuck down by the courts if it somehow gets passed at all.

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Response to unblock (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 11:49 AM

24. Where was it ruled unconstitutional?

I doubt this has happened yet since she only recently announced her plan. Some critics claim it is, but others say it isn't, including the legal experts Warren consulted with.

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Response to kcr (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:21 PM

32. not sure it's ever been tried, so i don't know if there's any precedent.

but it seems pretty obviously unconstitutional, at least as simplistically stated. other than the income tax, made ok by the 16th amendment, taxes generally have to be apportioned per capita, which a wealth tax clearly would not be.


now, a more subtle approach would be not to actually tax wealth directly, but to modify the income tax based on wealth. there are many ways one could imagine doing this, and there's more of an argument that at least some of these might pass constitutional muster.

but these wouldn't be true wealth taxes, this would only shift the income tax in the direction of hitting wealthier people more.

an example might be to completely disallow all mortgage interest deductions for anyone who owns more than one home. it's not clear to me that even that is constitutional, but certainly there's a much better case for it. however, it doesn't necessarily get at what i, at least, think of when i think of a "wealth tax". it would affect some more middle-class people (say, who moved into a smaller house and are renting out their old house) while leaving some super-rich people unaffected (they can simply avoid owning multiple homes).

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Response to unblock (Reply #32)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:33 PM

35. I wonder if Elizabeth Warren knows any Constitutional scholars she could consult.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #35)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:47 PM

37. i'm sure she could think of one or two




don't get me wrong, i love the idea and i love that she's bringing it into the national dialog.

even if it's just planting a seed for something that isn't possible for decades, i'm glad someone's out there trying.

plus, it may be fine enough for now to get some sort of hybrid wealth-adjusted income tax, to the extent constitutionally permissible.

i'm good with anything the reduces the insane levels of wealth concentration in this country.

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Response to unblock (Reply #37)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:51 PM

38. How does Article one figure in here?

I’m not sure what it means by “apportionment”

And is that why the 16th was needed?

And would article 1 allow the wealth tax?



Other Constitutional provisions regarding taxes

Article I, Section 2, Clause 3:

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers...[1]

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1:

The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

Article I, Section 9, Clause 4:

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #38)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:59 PM

39. my understanding is that generally federal taxes have to be per capita

the federal government could tax the states, or tax individuals directly, but it has to be based on the population.

so they could tax everyone $100 every year.
or they could make each state pay the federal government $100 per person in their state, and let each state worry about how to pay for that (of course, most *states* can impose wealth taxes).

yes, this is why the 16th amendment was needed to make an income tax constitutional.


the only arguments i've seen about how a "wealth tax" could be constitutional all are actually not supporting true wealth taxes, but are actually trying to argue for the constitutionality of modifications to the income tax based on wealth. i'll allow that there might be some hybrid approach that is constitutional, but it would have drawbacks due to being a rather imperfect wealth tax.

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Response to unblock (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:06 PM

29. Didn't they just change tax exemptions and rates without a constitutional amendment?

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Response to Autumn (Reply #29)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:13 PM

31. the *income* tax is constitutional, thanks to the 16th amendment.

and a progressive tax structure that more heavily taxes higher incomes is certainly constitutional.

a *wealth* tax is not the same thing.

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Response to unblock (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 08:50 AM

42. Your contention is refuted

by a variety of constitutional law professors in this piece.

https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-warren-wealth-tax-20190125-story.html

Are you a constitutional law expert?

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Response to PDittie (Reply #42)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 01:22 PM

44. it's not "refuted".

while it's nearly always possible to find lawyers on either side of an issue, there are very few who would argue that a straight tax on wealth is constitutional.

where there room to achieve *some* of the goals of a "wealth tax" is to modify the *income* tax to more effectively target people with higher wealth.

one, of course, is simply to make the income tax more progressive. this is certainly constitutional, and as higher income is correlated with greater wealth, could be claimed to be a form of wealth tax, though technically it is not.

there is room for other modifications to the income tax that target wealthier people. many of these would be constitutional, and that is what the article is getting at.

but these are not true wealth taxes, and would have a number of policy weaknesses in terms of achieving the intended goals and distributing the tax burden fairly as well as having compliance problems.

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Response to unblock (Reply #44)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 09:26 PM

45. Well, absent the

explanation of what you believe makes your opinion on par with the law professors cited in the piece I linked, I believe they stand as more viable authority on constitutional law than you.

And they say a wealth tax is constitutional. It seems in your answer that you now actually agree, if Warren's tax would submit itself to your revisions. Newsflash: Warren has been a professor of law for several years. My guess is she understands the constitutionality question better than you (again, absent your bonafides I requested).

This isn't a "both sides" question. Now it probably will get tested all the way to the SCOTUS, and it certainly is possible that the conservative Justices could take a more biased interpretation, but if you had read the piece I linked, you'd see the arguments of the law professors cited are persuasive, sound, and go back to Thomas Jefferson's original logic.

In his autobiography, Jefferson wrote of the bills he had advocated or passed to form "a system by which every fibre would be eradicated of antient or future aristocracy; and a foundation laid for a government truly republican." His goal was to "prevent the accumulation and perpetuation of wealth in select families.”


So I'll end the discussion by pointing out, again, that your contention that the wealth tax in unconstitutional simply isn't borne out by scholars of the law ... going all the way back to one of the original Framers.

(If I were you at this point, I'd just take the L and move on. Whether you want to keep going or not is up to you; if you like, please have the last word.)


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Response to PDittie (Reply #45)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 11:12 PM

56. wow, that was a pointlessly obnoxious post.

congratulations, you found a grand total of one article linking to an analysis of two lawyers who argue that a wealth tax is constitutional.

gee, it's always so hard to find lawyers on either side of an issue.

it's actually in interesting read, but johnsen & dellinger's argument rests on the argument that as apportioning a wealth tax to the states based on each state's population (as is the constitution's requirement on direct taxes) would be unfair, it can be ignore.

that is, in order to comply, states with equal population would have to, in the aggregate each pay the same amount to the federal government. so let's say the federal government wanted to make every billionaire pay a billionaire's tax to the federal government. if there are 10 billionaires in one state and 5 billionaires in another state, but both states have the same overall population, then the billionaires in the 5-billionaire state would have to pay twice the tax that the billionaires in the 10-billionaire state would pay, so that the state total was the same.

that would be manifestly unfair, so johnsen & dellinger argue that this means that the constitutional requirement to apportion such taxes based on population can simply be ignored.

that's not a very compelling argument. which is not to say the supreme court has never used such logic (or worse), but it's hardly compelling.

moreover, as you point out, today's court makeup doesn't think like that at all. this is rather far from "originalist" thinking. at a minimum, i would agree with your assessment that today's court would find it unconstitutional, whether out of bias, originalist thinking, or other reasoning.


as for jefferson, i can find no evidence that he ever thought a direct tax on wealth was constitutional. he may have felt it would be a good *policy*, but i can't find anything that suggests he thought it was permitted by the constitution, particularly before the 16th amendment.


as for wanting my bona fides, that's really weak sauce considering that you haven't volunteered yours. moreover, what compels you to even respond on an internet message board if you're going to dismiss arguments out of hand. not interested in my comments if i'm not a constitutional scholar? find, but then, why post anything in response at all? just ignore me if you think my opinion if worthless.

if you really care, i am not a lawyer, but i helped my mom go through law school when i was in high school. i found my own school work a bore so i spent far more time reading he law books and helping her study. in high school and college, i debated competitively, sometimes on constitutional issues. most of my career has been working closely with lawyers. usually not officially on constitutional issues, but constitutional topics do come up in conversation from time to time, particularly if something's in the news. so not licensed, but pretty knowledgeable for a lay person.

and you?


as for declaring victory for yourself, by all means, feel free to think that awarding yourself a victory means something.




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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:42 AM

10. I think it is an idea that should have been discussed

for a long time. I equate it to real estate taxes. In essence they are paid to keep the system in which the wealth resides going. Schools, fire, police, and public services are paid for by these taxes.

A wealth tax is needed to pay for DoD and DHS, etc.

I also think serious consideration should be given towards "charitable" institutions also carrying the load of these taxes. That is how a significant amount of wealth is also squirreled away. It remains in control of the families associated with it, and serves as employment opportunities for idiot descendants in the future.

She needs to explain it clearly though.

Also why do assets that are inherited get their capital base moved up? Again this wealth sits there doing nothing to pay for the aircraft carriers etc used to protect it.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:44 AM

12. More. I was kind of indifferent to her before but I think it's a great idea.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10:59 AM

17. More. I think people have wanted this for a long time but too many dems

have been scared to talk about raising taxes. People with common sense know that the wealthy should be paying more tax.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 11:13 AM

20. Also, even as a negotiation tactic....more of this please.....

 

I'm more than happy to start from this as a point of negotiation. If starting there eventually gets us to a high top marginal tax rate as a "compromise"? Then great.

This is the type of stuff we need to start with. Not this constant starting from a moderate position and then winding up with an even less moderate, more Republican friendly ending point.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 11:14 AM

21. Most of you are too focused on what YOU like! How are the folks that elected Trump likely to vote?

Here's my take, which I've deliberately kept separate from my opening post:

In the wake of the Trump disaster, I'm afraid that it'll be a big enough challenge for any Democratic president to just get us back to the days of Barack Obama, and I expect that others, even many Republicans, will see it like that. This is no time for radical, untested ideas, particularly an idea that will be universally opposed by the rich, who can and will finance the skillful manipulation of public opinion.

Ask the folks in Puerto Rico: When a tragic disaster damages your home so badly that you need to repair it before you can live in it again, is that a good time to think about adding a swimming pool and a pretty gazebo? No, that's a time when you remember what your home was like and you want it back again.






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Response to Towlie (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 11:33 AM

22. So we should test market our ideas with the very rich first?

You’re selling ideological mush. Ever since Reagan, capital has been waging war on average Americans. If we just win an election without explaining proper terms because we’re too afraid of the political consequences we’ll move this country nowhere. Maybe the reason the prescriptions for fighting back seem “radical” is that we haven’t fought back hard enough. Better late than never. Much better.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 11:42 AM

23. Neither. Policies don't really sway voters (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:03 PM

28. Sadly this is true.

It’s been a popularity contest for a while.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 11:53 AM

25. I think it helps her. The gullible public is finally moving on from the "Job Creators" fantasy

that has been fed to them by Republicans and the media since Reagan first uttered it in the 80's. Instead of more, decent paying jobs we have greater income inequality.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 11:57 AM

26. More!

She shows absolutely that she is on the side of working people and not the 1%!

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:02 PM

27. It all depends on how the message is crafted.

It needs to be simple and concise. Most people will not spend even 20 minutes reading something. They’ll just go with the headline.

So this needs to be broken into bullet points that are painfully clear.

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Response to EllieBC (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 02:39 PM

40. It's already crafted. Her bullet points are like "think what we could do with that money."

But I could practically hear the multi-millionaires out there screaming "No, you're not. You're stealing MY money! I'm making it and you're STEALING it!

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:11 PM

30. IIRC, her proposal wouldn't kick in until $50 million.

There's absolutely no reason why it should help her, just based on the actual numbers, and I think that most people now realize that the "job creators" myth is pure BS.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:23 PM

33. Her electability will not rest on only one thing.

We are still a year away from the first primaries, nearly two years away from the 2020 general election.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:26 PM

34. Frame how the proceeds will be used

Something everyone will understand and like. Maybe Medicare for all?

Rethugs will play it as socialism, or worse yet, communism.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 12:43 PM

36. I would say more

The question of economic inequality has come into its own, the solution to which involves the Richie-rich as well as corporate entities paying their fair share of taxes. What makes Warren's idea so good is that it can be easily explained; people can get their heads around it. The idea of reestablishing a more level playing field is very popular in the electorate.

I think it's a winner for Warren.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 02:48 PM

41. I doubt it will make much of a difference

There are not a lot of people it would directly affect, and of those that would be affected, probably only a small minority would count them as supporters of hers to begin with.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 09:28 AM

43. More, imho

The "grievance" voters who went for Trump will like the idea of "sticking it to" rich people.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 09:40 PM

46. More. If explained right and she is a former teacher

Income inequality is extremely unpopular and has increased a huge amount especially since the 1970s.

Warren's proposal is a sophisticated version, backed by some top economists, of the AOC call to have wealthy people pay a fair share. The key will be getting people to understand how much money you have to have for this to apply.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 09:45 PM

47. more

Just need to let the 99% know.

I would prefer a progressive income tax, but "wealth tax" could be an easier sale.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 09:53 PM

48. I think it really depends on how she presents her ideas

Last edited Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:32 PM - Edit history (1)

And how her message resonates amongst the voting public.

It's a dynamic process and there's no way to measure it at this stage in the game.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:13 PM

49. Depends on how she frames it.

It shouldn't be just taxing the wealthy. It needs to be explained that someone with a certain income would pay more taxes when it is over a specific amount.

And more importantly, that it would also lower taxes for those in lower income brackets.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:14 PM

50. 99% of voters are not in the wealthiest 1%.

So, yeah, MORE electable!

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:14 PM

51. More. Much more.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)


Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:18 PM

53. If the wealthiest want to acquire most of the wealth, then they should

pay most of the taxes required to run the show.
When a nation goes into an additional $1.4 trillion or more in debt to provide a taxcut to the wealthiest, someone's collective thinking has gone horribly wrong.
Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax doesn't go far enough imo.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:21 PM

54. More.

 

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 10:23 PM

55. No impact

 

People who already like her expect a policy proposal like this and would welcome it, people who already don't like her will not like it. I think her progressive platform overall will help get out the Democratic base but will not encourage many Republican leaning types to cross over. I think it's a wash.

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 11:26 PM

57. More, I full support it and I think that current structural issues (aka Trump needing to be removed)

aside, wealth inequality is the number one social problem in the US. It is the single most predictive and interconnected metric to the overall health (at every level) of our society.



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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 12:02 AM

58. more

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Response to Towlie (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 12:07 AM

59. She is doing it wrong. She should sell it as deficit reduction to save Social Security & Medicare

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